GSMA has launched the Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) portal with the aim of supporting business decisions and providing evidence of the socio-economic benefits delivered by the mobile industry in the developing world. The initial focus of the portal, which has been launched with the Omidyar Network, is on mobile money and health data.
The open-access portal offers over 70 metrics which users can map and export via country-level dashboards on offer for more than 140 developing countries. The idea is that further data will be added as the project goes on and users can also contribute data and other content to the portal. The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm set up by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
The portal, which is free, is intended to attract investment into developing countries from both the mobile industry and NGOs as well as make clear the positive results this kind of investment can bring. Chris Locke, managing director of the GSMA’s Development Fund, said the portal “will provide for the first time a complete landscape or the organisations and mobile services” that have an important role in the developing world.
Raj Gollamudi, Omidyar Network’s director of investments, said that the mobile industry in the developing world “needs a credible and trusted source of market data” to drive collaboration and investment. The investment fund supports using mobile technology to encourage transparency as well as fostering innovation.
The mobile industry in the developing world faces a lack of publicly available data and analysis to support decision making. MDI wants to fill this void by aggregating data from a number of sources including the GSMA itself, the UN, World Bank, the mobile industry and development organisations. The initial focus of the portal is on mobile money and health data.